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What Does Someone’s Gender Identity Signal to Employers?

Author

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  • Van Borm, Hannah
  • Dhoop, Marlot
  • Van Acker, Allien
  • Baert, Stijn

Abstract

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to explore the mechanisms underlying hiring discrimination against transgender men. Design/methodology/approach - The authors conduct a scenario experiment with final-year business students in which fictitious hiring decisions are made about transgender or cisgender male job candidates. More importantly, these candidates are scored on statements related to theoretical reasons for hiring discrimination given in the literature. The resulting data are analysed using a bivariate analysis. Additionally, a multiple mediation model is run. Findings - Suggestive evidence is found for co-worker and customer taste-based discrimination, but not for employer taste-based discrimination. In addition, results show that transgender men are perceived as being in worse health, being more autonomous and assertive, and have a lower probability to go on parental leave, compared with cisgender men, revealing evidence for (positive and negative) statistical discrimination. Social implications - Targeted policy measures are needed given the substantial labour market discrimination against transgender individuals measured in former studies. However, to combat this discrimination effectively, one needs to understand its underlying mechanisms. This study provides the first comprehensive exploration of these mechanisms. Originality/value - This study innovates in being one of the first to explore the relative empirical importance of dominant (theoretical) explanations for hiring discrimination against transgender men. Thereby, the authors take the logical next step in the literature on labour market discrimination against transgender individuals.

Suggested Citation

  • Van Borm, Hannah & Dhoop, Marlot & Van Acker, Allien & Baert, Stijn, 2020. "What Does Someone’s Gender Identity Signal to Employers?," GLO Discussion Paper Series 484, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:484
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Doris Weichselbaumer, 2015. "Testing for Discrimination against Lesbians of Different Marital Status: A Field Experiment," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(1), pages 131-161, January.
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    4. Nick Drydakis, 2014. "Sexual orientation discrimination in the Cypriot labour market. Distastes or uncertainty?," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 35(5), pages 720-744, July.
    5. Stijn Baert, 2014. "Career lesbians. Getting hired for not having kids?," Industrial Relations Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(6), pages 543-561, November.
    6. Geijtenbeek, Lydia & Plug, Erik, 2018. "Is there a penalty for registered women? Is there a premium for registered men? Evidence from a sample of transsexual workers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 334-347.
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    8. Ann-Renée Blais & Elke U. Weber, 2006. "A Domain-Specific Risk-Taking (DOSPERT) scale for adult populations," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 1, pages 33-47, July.
    9. Bockting, W.O. & Miner, M.H. & Swinburne Romine, R.E. & Hamilton, A. & Coleman, E., 2013. "Stigma, mental health, and resilience in an online sample of the US transgender population," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 103(5), pages 943-951.
    10. Schilt Kristen & Wiswall Matthew, 2008. "Before and After: Gender Transitions, Human Capital, and Workplace Experiences," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-28, September.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Drydakis, Nick, 2021. "The Economics of Being LGBT. A Review: 2015-2020," GLO Discussion Paper Series 980, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    2. Van Borm, Hannah & Baert, Stijn, 2022. "Diving in the minds of recruiters: What triggers gender stereotypes in hiring?," GLO Discussion Paper Series 1083, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    3. Drydakis, Nick, 2021. "The Economics of Being LGBT. A Review: 2015-2020," IZA Discussion Papers 14845, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Mann, Samuel, 2020. "The Labour Force Status of Transgender People and The Impact of Removing Surgical Requirements to Change Gender on ID Documents," GLO Discussion Paper Series 670, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    5. Mann, Samuel, 2021. "Transgender employment and gender marker laws," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(C).
    6. Patrick Button & Eva Dils & Benjamin Harrell & Luca Fumarco & David Schwegman, 2020. "Gender Identity, Race, and Ethnicity Discrimination in Access to Mental Health Care: Preliminary Evidence from a Multi-Wave Audit Field Experiment," NBER Working Papers 28164, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Drydakis, Nick & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2020. "Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Labour Market Outcomes: New Patterns and Insights," GLO Discussion Paper Series 627, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    8. Granberg, Mark & Andersson, Per A. & Ahmed, Ali, 2020. "Hiring Discrimination Against Transgender People: Evidence from a Field Experiment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(C).
    9. Ian Burn & Michael E. Martell, 2020. "Gender Typicality and Sexual Minority Labor Market Differentials," Working Papers 202018, University of Liverpool, Department of Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Transgender men; fictitious hiring decisions; theories of discrimination; signalling; scenario experiment; risk aversion;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand

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